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Mayor Bloomberg Announces Initiative to Develop a New Engineering and Applied Sciences Research Campus

Request for Expressions of Interest Released Today Will Seek Responses from the Academic World for a Partnership with the City to Create a State-of-the-Art Applied Science Campus Expansion of City’s Applied Science and Engineering Prowess

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Request for Expressions of Interest Released Today Will Seek Responses from the Academic World for a Partnership with the City to Create a State-of-the-Art Applied Science Campus

Expansion of City’s Applied Science and Engineering Prowess Seen as Major Opportunity to Strengthen New York City’s Position as a Global Innovation Leader

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert K. Steel and New York City Economic Development Corporation President Seth W. Pinsky today announced that the City is seeking responses from a university, applied science organization or related institution to develop and operate an applied sciences research facility in New York City. In order to maintain a diverse and competitive economy, and capture the considerable growth occurring within the science, technology and research fields, the City is looking to strengthen its applied sciences capabilities, particularly in fields which lend themselves to commercialization. The City will make a capital contribution, in addition to possibly providing land and other considerations, commensurate with the respondent’s investment. Through a Request for Expressions of Interest released today, the City will suggest four possible development sites – at the Navy Hospital Campus at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, the Goldwater Hospital Campus on Roosevelt Island in Manhattan, on Governor’s Island, and at the Farm Colony on Staten Island – though respondents are also encouraged to consider and propose privately-owned sites within the five boroughs in which an applied sciences facility might be developed.

“A new, state-of-the-art applied sciences research school would be a major asset for New York City as we develop a 21st century innovation economy,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “The City is committed to finding the right partner and providing the support needed to establish such a facility because research in the fields of engineering, science and technology is creating the next generation of global business innovations that will propel our economy forward. New York City has all the ingredients to complement an applied science and engineering hub – a highly educated global population, unparalleled financial and business community to provide capital and support for new ventures and existing top-notch institutions performing cutting-edge research. We want to capitalize on those strengths.”

“New York City is a global leader in most areas of education, and our institutions of higher learning are among the reasons why New York continues to be a global magnet for talent, but applied sciences and engineering is one area in which New York City is strong but doesn’t dominate,” said Deputy Mayor Steel. “As we continue to transform New York into a 21st Century city of innovation, excelling in applied sciences and engineering will become increasingly important, and we’re committed to doing everything we can to ensure New York City does.”

“Adding a new, world-class applied sciences facility to New York City’s already impressive science and technology community is critical to staying globally competitive,” said New York City Economic Development Corporation President Pinsky. “Such a facility would not only enrich our research capabilities, but it would also lead to commercialization, expanding our City’s dynamic economy. Investing in innovation is the key to keeping our economy robust, diverse and growing, and this initiative is a strong demonstration of the City’s commitment to making these kinds of investments.”

New York City is home to more than 626,000 students, including more than 4,200 graduate engineering students. And while our more than 100 academic and research institutions are renowned worldwide, there are unparalleled growth opportunities that now exist within the science and technology fields, and a global competition going on to take advantage of those opportunities. As the demand for talent outpaces supply around the world, it is important that New York City take steps to increase its pool of engineering faculty and graduate students, as well as research expenditures. Other countries are already investing heavily: research and development spending in Asia is predicted to overtake U.S. levels in the next five years, thanks primarily to striking growth in R&D investment in China.

The Request for Expressions of Interest released today by the New York City Economic Development Corporation seeks proposals for the development of an Applied Sciences Research Facility with a strong focus on applied engineering. Other fields within the applied sciences including environmental science, mathematics, chemistry, physics and computer science will also be considered, with a focus on fields that present significant opportunities for commercialization.

“New York no longer has to play second fiddle to anyplace in the tech sector economy, but our engineering talent is still more imported than home grown,” said Kathryn Wylde, President & CEO of the Partnership for New York City. “This exciting new initiative by the Bloomberg Administration will change that paradigm.”

“Google depends on the contributions of first-rate engineers and scientists,” said Google Vice President of Engineering Stuart Feldman. “We support this effort, which will increase the amount of advanced scientific work being done in New York City, attract people into important fields, and raise the recognition of New York as a great science center.”

“During my 25 years of venture capital investing in New York City, I have watched the burgeoning technology sector emerge as an important part of the City’s economy,” said Fred Wilson, Managing Partner of Union Square Ventures. “But I believe there is a big missing piece in New York City’s technology community: the lack of a world-class engineering school within the five boroughs. Today’s announcement is a great step toward creating one.”

A majority of the development must be for academic use, and could include teaching space, wet and/or dry labs and conference facilities. Proposals that also include space for related commercial activity such as business incubators, corporate research and development facilities, and spin-out companies are strongly encouraged, as are joint-ventures and consortia proposals.

Upon receiving responses to the Request for Expressions of Interest, the City will evaluate proposals and develop an Applied Sciences Research Request for Proposals to be released shortly afterward. The Request for Proposals will request conceptual architectural design, more detail on the development team, detailed financial information and will include a draft contract. Final developer selection will be based upon responses to the RFP. To obtain a copy of the complete Request for Expressions of Interest, please visit Responses are due on March 16, 2011 at 5:00 PM.

Contact: Stu Loeser / Andrew Brent (212) 788-2958
Julie Wood / Libby Langsdorf (Economic Development) (212) 312-3523